posted on December 16, 2015 by Pamela Ann Cleverly

Finding My Christmas Spirit

by Pamela Ann Cleverly

planterChristmas is nearly upon us and I haven’t bought a single present, sent out cards or baked cookies. We’ve only had one day with enough snow to cover the grass and that didn’t last more than a few hours. It was seventy degrees over the weekend and the flowers that I never got around to pulling out of the urn on the front stoop are blooming again! This is northeastern Ohio. We should be buried in snow by now. I should be shoveling the front walk to make a path to the car. Then dust the snow from around the door so the flakes don’t blow inside as I retrieve the snowbrush. With the white stuff cleared from all the nooks and crannies of my SUV, I’m ready to take on the plowed roads while listening to holiday music on the radio. I slip and slide through the slush in the mall parking lot, push my shopping cart through more slush at the grocery store and put folded dollar bills into the Salvation Army’s kettle with Santa wishing me a merry Christmas. In the past, this has always jump-started me into the Christmas spirit.

Being a new author, I now have deadlines. But I also realize how important memories are, especially Christmas memories. Those times spent with family and friends, laughter, children playing, dogs barking, and fruitcake. I don’t need snow to find Christmas, I just need to slow down and look for the holiday spirit in my heart.

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In the Shadow of the Lighthouse

In the Shadow of the LighthouseSomeone is trying to kill Olivia Bentley . . . but who? And why?

Olivia’s life has been filled with deception and tragedy. On the outside, she lives a lavish life that most people would envy. But underneath she is haunted, knowing she is responsible for the death of her family. After a disastrous marriage ends, Olivia is determined to build a new life.

Under her new identity, Olivia takes on a high-powered job and becomes part of Cleveland’s social scene. When tragedy strikes again, Olivia is left with almost nothing . . . except questions.

With her reputation in shreds, she takes shelter in the tiny village of Marblehead, Ohio, and rebuilds her life yet again, this time in the shadow of the lighthouse. When she begins to fall for the local boat mechanic, she hopes the cycle of tragedy is finally broken . . . and then the accidents begin.

In the Shadow of the Lighthouse can be purchased in eBook format for/from:

 

Pamela Ann Cleverly

Pamela Ann Cleverly

I’ve always had stories in my head. They were there just waiting to be pulled out when I needed to keep my three rowdy younger brothers quiet. There was a story for long trips in the car or bad weather days. If need be, I could read them something from my vast library of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. Those books were the fuel that fed my love of mysteries that years later would lead me to Agatha Christie, Mary Stewart, and Phyllis Whitney.

My teachers complained to my mother that I often daydreamed in class. I didn’t pay attention. When class got boring, I just flipped the switch in my head, and a wonderful story began to play. I tried my best to look attentive, which wasn’t easy. I struggled through school — then I struggled through life.

After a failed marriage, my young daughter and I left the comfort of northeastern Ohio for Toronto, Ontario. It was love at first sight, and each year was more exciting and glamorous than the last. I became an active member of the American business community with ties to the American Consulate. It was a fantasy life, just like in the books that kept my mind occupied each day riding the subway trains. But just six years later, and at the height of my social life, my second husband was transferred back to Cleveland. I cried all the way to Buffalo. Then, before I had time to plan my next move, I had a devastating accident, which left me unable to walk without assistance for almost a year. I read over three hundred books that year. I expanded my interests into the genres of Romance and often read two Harlequins in a single day. I found myself rewriting some of the endings or continuing on with a sequel if the story ended too soon.

One day, I told my mother that the stories in my head were often better than the ones I read. I guess I’d never explained to anyone about those stories that came out of nowhere. Her answer was that I should write them down. Gee, I’d never thought of that. And so in the summer of 1982, I began my first book — a paranormal set outside of London. I wrote it out longhand and then typed the completed pages on my portable typewriter. My world was perfect and I was going to become a writer. But not then.

Fast-forward twenty-three years. I was sitting at my computer at work and suddenly there was a story in my head. It wouldn’t go away, and it wouldn’t let me think about anything else. So I started writing and finally finished at 160,000 words. But then the sequel was in my head, and I was in trouble because I didn’t know what to do next. I joined a writer’s group, and now I’m finally ready to tell my stories.

I’ll be telling those stories from the rolling hills of northeastern Ohio. That is, when I’m not telling them from our home in the lower Florida Keys. I’m also the Executive Director of CANTER Ohio (The Communication Alliance to Network Thoroughbred Ex-Racehorses). But that’s another story.

Pamela Ann Cleverly Contest

Pamela Ann Cleverly is giving away a copy of IN THE SHADOW OF THE LIGHTHOUSE.

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